To attract hourly workers, businesses turn to earned wage access (EWA)

Mathieu Stevenson |
Mathieu Stevenson is the CEO of Snagajob. His first hourly job was as a lifeguard.


Overall, hourly jobs are up 160% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 2% month-over-month drop, and a 2% year-over-year decline. 

As the immediate ramifications of COVID-19 begin to lesson, we’re seeing how the past two year’s pandemic hiring strategies are now impacting businesses. 

For example, companies that went all-in on hiring now find themselves overstaffed (which has in turn led to hiring freezes and layoffs). This is particularly evident in many white-collar segments, including technology. But it’s also having repercussions among other businesses that gained from the surge in pandemic business (think home gym makers, home food delivery, etc.).

Conversely, companies that were dramatically impacted by the lack of consumer movement during the pandemic are now severely short-staffed and scrambling to find workers. This includes airlines, hotels, and restaurants, among others.

Retail remained in the middle ground, as large companies that offered grocery delivery fared well, while smaller shops and traditional mall-based stores suffer mightily.

The point is, that while the labor market has shifted, hiring is still a major challenge for most businesses. For those hiring hourly workers, the biggest issue is that there are simply too many jobs to choose from. With 11 million open jobs, and 6 million unemployed job seekers, if every person searching took a job today there would still be 5 million open positions. 

Earned wage access increases in popularity

If you’re looking to attract these elusive hourly workers, one recommendation is to jump on the bandwagon of offering earned wage access (or EWA, as it’s being promoted by savvy recruiters, although “on-demand pay” and “daily pay” are also popular terms). EWA allows hourly workers to receive their pay immediately (or soon after) the work is completed. 

With inflation eating away at wages, and more and more workers living from paycheck to paycheck, the ability to get funds sooner than later helps avoid bank overdrafts, riding home from work in a car that’s running on fumes, and the worst money suck of all一payday loans. Hiring via platforms such as Shifts by Snagajob helps you provide this option to workers, which you can promote in your job posting to attract and retain more candidates.

This tactic promises to be a  nice win-win for both businesses and workers.

Among hourly work, these sectors are now trending up at the highest rate.

  • Healthcare +4% month-over-month

  • Warehouse & Logistics +3% month-over-month 


All industry data is from 3/2/20-8/23/22

Here are the latest overall job numbers:

Overall hourly jobs are up 160% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 2% month-over-month drop, and a 2% year-over-year decline. 

Here are the latest job numbers by industry:

Food & Restaurant jobs are up 6% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing an 11% month-over-month drop, and a 26% year-over-year decline.

Hotel & Hospitality jobs are down 5% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 15% month-over-month drop, and a 63% year-over-year decline.

Healthcare jobs are up 189% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 4% month-over-month gain, and a 24% year-over-year decline.

Retail jobs are up 42% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 3% month-over-month drop, and a 9% year-over-year decline.

Warehouse & Logistics jobs are up 1191% compared to pre-pandemic norms, seeing a 3% month-over-month gain, and a 71% year-over-year growth.

The bottom line

We’ll continue to be your best resource for hourly job market insights as we collectively navigate towards our new normal and beyond.
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